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2015 World Championships
Lohja, Finland - February 7-13, 2015
Russia win gold

 Scroll down for daily results and standings

The WCF event website is HERE

Archived video by date HERE


Final Standings
(click on team for team photo and members)







Gold Russia 11 1 89 39 18 4
Silver China 8 3 62 41 14 10
Bronze Finland 6 5 67 68 18 9
4 Slovakia 6 6 74 87 12 20
5 USA 4 5 58 57 12 12
6 Canada 4 5 54 49 12 13
7 Germany 4 6 42 72 12 18
8 R Scotland 3 7 47 50 13 16
9 R Sweden 3 6 46 53 10 15
10 R Norway 2 7 35 58 11 15

Scotland, Sweden and Norrway are relegated to Qualifying Nov. 2015


Friday February 13 - Day 7

Russia, clearly the class of the field, swept aside Finland 12-1 in the semi-final and gained revenge for their Page (and only) defeat by beating China 7-4 to win their second World Championship.

They took an early 4 point lead in the final, stealing one in the 1st and in the 2nd had some good fortune when China's skip promoted a third Russian stone into scoring position. A 3 spot after the break cemented their lead, and despite giving up as many steals (2) as they had all week, ran out comfortable winners.

China, in only their 4th international tournament, added a silver to two previous bronze.

Finland and Slovakia met for the third time, with Finland winning the rubber match 8-5. In the 4th a disastrous attempted tap by the Slovakian fourth player. Branislav Jakubec, raised a Finnish stone ino the rings. Finland's skip Markku Karjalainen settled for the 5 when his draw into the house for a sixth point was too heavy.

Whether the performance of Canada and Scotland, semi-professionals with first class facilities who can have no excuses, will prompt changes, is to be seen.

Thursday February 12 - Day 6

Russia gave up their second steal and suffered their first loss in the lowest scroring game of the tournament as China took two in the 7th for a 3-1 win. This guarantees China their best ever Worlds result.

Hosts Finland nosed ahead of Slovakia with two single point steals before the break, only to see Slovakia in only their third appearance at a World event, take 3 in the 7th. Finland skip Markku Karjalainen missed an open draw into the house to win in 8, and Slovakia took their single in the extra end for a 6-5 win and a semi-final against Russia. Finland get a second chance at a medal wheen the play the loing semi-finalist for bronze.

In what may be the tournament's biggest upset, qualifiers Germany beat Sochi bronze medallists Scotland 6-3 in a relegation tie-break. Scotland managed to score in just one end, were ahead 3-2 at the break but were frozen out in the second half as Germany stole 4 points for a decisive  6-3 win.

Scotland, a fully funded semi-professional team with a full-time (Canadian) coach rely on tournament success for their funding. They'll join Sweden and Norway in Finland in November, seeking the chance to play at the 2016 Worlds in Switzerland.

Wednesday February 11 - Day 5

North American hopes for two teams in the playoffs were dashed when Canada and USA lost both their games on the final day of round robin play. Canada started with a 3 against Slovakia but gave up a steal of 3 in the 3rd and, tied with hammer in the 8th, another steal to lose 7-6. Playing unbeaten Russia in the final draw, Canada again started well but gave up a steal of 3 just after the break, and a single steal down one with hammer in the final end to lose 6-4. They can take some satisfaction from earning a stolen point, the only one surendered by Russia the whole week.

USA lost to two relegation threatened sides, Germany and Scotland, who will play a tie break to decide which gets a pass to next year's championship in Switerland, and which will join Norway and Sweden in the November Qualifying tournament.

China took two to cement their place in the 1 vs 2 Page playoff, and Slovakia, 5th at start of play, won twice to take the final playoff spot. They'll face Finland in the 3 vs 4 game.

Norway, despite being clear winners in Qualifying, prop up the bottom of the table with Sweden, who take 9th place by virtue of losses to the two teams above them with the same record. 

Tuesday February 10 - Day 4

Russia remains unbeaten and have yet to give up a steal while Canadians can breathe easier as two wins put their team two games away from relegation with just two more to play.

Canada beat Scotland 6-4 despite going behind early. Single point steals in the 5th and 6th provided the margin of victory. In the evening draw they easily saw off Norway 9-2, stealing the last 8 points.

USA saw their playoff hopes dented with single point losses to Finland and Sweden, where they were ahead 6-5 with hammer in the 7th, but gave up steals in 8 and the extra to lose 7-6. China split, losing to Russia but beating Germany and with 5 wins are all but certain to make the playoffs for a fourth successive year.

Slovakia won twice including a 6-5 defeat of Scotland to nose ahead of the bottom 4 teams, three of whom face qualifying for next year's event.

Scroll down for results

Monday February 9 - Day 3

Canada narrowly avoided hearing Vic Rauter asking "is four too many?" as Sweden's last stone hit for the win, rolled too far allowing Canada to squeak home 6-4. Canada did not regroup, however, and a 9-8 evening loss to USA puts them in a tie for 5th place with games against Scotland and unbeaten Russia still to come. After 5 draws Canada have given up more points than they have scored.

USA must fancy their chances of making the playoffs having earlier defeated previously unbeaten China 6-3.

The schedule has beeen kind to hosts Finland, who posted two wins but have the favoured teams still to play. Norway and Slovakia both earned their first wins, while Sweden and Germany lost both games.

Sunday February 8 - Day 2

Defending champions Canada continued to wobble in their morning draw, giving up late game steals in a 6-4 loss to qualifiers Germany. They avoided a worst ever championship start by defeating Finland 8-3 in the evening. Skip Mark Ideson said his team had been competitive in their early games  without taking opportunities. "Today weíve been finally able to do that and thatís a big step forward for us.Ē

Russia and China ended Day 2 as the only undefeated sides. Scotland, after a cagey opening that saw the scoreboard untouched until Sweden took a deuce in the 4th, stole their way to a 6-2 win before losing to China 6-4.

USA had two wins despite giving up an opening end 4 spot against Slovakia. Qualifiers Norway prop up the table with Slovakia, both looking for their first win.

Saturday February 7 - Day 1

Canada lost 8 - 3 to China, repeating the result from the opening game in China's international career in Vancouver 2009. Emergency replacement skip Mark Ideson, in for Jim Armstrong, put a brave face on the defeat noting the "newness" of the team, and claiming good effort and "pretty good throwing." Coach Rea had pitched the event as a test of their capabilities and preparation, and in fairness Canada have not always started well. They get a chance to regroup against the two least experienced teams on Day 2.

Scotland and Russia, podium favourites, both had emphatic wins and hosts Finland registered a rare international victory. Sweden raced to an early 7 - 1 lead and hung on for a 7-6 win over neighbours Norway.


Just as defending champions Team Canada were about to announce an unchanged squad, skip Jim Armstrong was hospitalised, awaiting surgery following a heart attack.

While Canada has taken five out of five gold medals since 2009 with Armstrong as skip, they have failed to reach the podium at the last three Worlds without him.

"Absolutely we are going to miss him, not only for his shooting skills but as a team mate and a leader." says Coach Joe Rea. "This team however is very prepared and capable and we are excited to have this opportunity to put our planning to work in Finland."

Mark Ideson will skip and holding the broom for Ideson will be Ina Forrest, who moves from 2nd to throwing 4th stones. Manitoba's Dennis Thiessen continues at 3rd, Gaudet moves to 2nd and rookie Marie Wright who won her "D card" funding at a selection camp at the end of November is the alternate.

Marie's inclusion marks the first time a majority female team has competed at the Worlds.

Though the three year accumulation of qualification points for the 2018 Paralympics begins at this year, Canada's preparation has appeared somewhat low key in contrast to Russia and Scotland, the other two medallists at last year's Paralympics.

Scot's coach Tony Zummack emphasises 2015 performance.

"The post-Paralympics year needs to be taken seriously. An early good finish eases pressure later. If the level of consistency continues to improve then (the qualifiers] may need upwards of 15 points. That would mean an average finish of 5th at each of the three events and a good possibility that any team without three chances to accumulate points will need need a top 4 finish in the other two."

Only the top eight teams (this year the top seven as the 2016 event is to be held in Switzerland who qualify as hosts) at the World's are guaranteed a place the following year. The others must compete in an open qualifying event for the remaining places; and as Korea, Japan, Italy and Switzerland and others have discovered, returning to the top 10 is no easy task.

Each of the Sochi Paralympic medallists competed at major North American tournaments this Fall. Russia won the newly named Canadian Open in Richmond BC, beating Scotland in the final with Canada 3rd.

The same two teams played the final of Ottawa's Cathy Kerr Memorial Spiel, the world's largest wheelchair curling event by entries, with Canada forced into the consolation event.

The third leg of Russia and Scotland's tour was the US Open in Utica NY (Canada did not compete) where Collinda Joseph's enterprising Ottawa rink defeated Scotland for gold, with Russia taking bronze.

It's no accident that the three Paralympic medallists are all fully funded curlers. Sweden's Jalle Jungnell, the sport's most experienced wheelchair curler, says his team all have full time jobs and that it is becoming increasingly difficult to compensate for the ability of top teams to commit all their time and energy to curling.

"It will however be great fun," he says, "and we have as always a great spirit in the team, on and off the ice. You have to have fun to succeed."

His long time 3rd, Glenn Ikonen, has retired, replaced by  Ronny Persson, a former Paralympic downhill medallist from Nagano and Salt Lake.

Jens Jager, who brought his own cheering section to the Vancouver Worlds, returns to skip Team Germany after political disputes over who was actually running the sport led to his temporary departure. Germany's subsequent relegation led to his re-instatement and successful return via last November's Qualifying. Norway took full advantage of home ice to claim the second qualifying slot.

Unchanged Slovakia prepared by staying close to home; winning an eight team tournament spread over several weekends, playing Poland, Italy and five domestic Czech teams.

Rookie Steven Emt (Andover CT) joins a USA team still awaiting their first medal. Fans who watched TV coverage of the team's Paralympic performance will hope skip Patrick McDonald muzzles the constant and often contradictory on-ice kibbitzing from his teammates.

China, a playoff team the past three years with two bronze medals, are unchaged and growing in experience, Finland on the other hand will hope home ice advantage will keep them out of next November's Qualifying, from which they are unlikely to re-emerge.

Who will win? Probably a Sochi medallist, but perhaps this year for the first time since 2008, Canada are not clear favourites. Despite Coach Rea's endorsement of Armstrong's shooting, it is not exceptional. What he brought was decades of ice reading and game management experience. Even if Canada play well without him, other teams will find it easier to believe they can win.

(an extended version of these comments can be found HERE and in the February issue of The Curling News)





Final Standings
(click on team for team photo and members)







Gold Russia 11 1 89 39 18 4
Silver China 8 3 62 41 14 10
Bronze Finland 6 5 67 68 18 9
4 Slovakia 6 6 74 87 12 20
5 USA 4 5 58 57 12 12
6 Canada 4 5 54 49 12 13
7 Germany 4 6 42 72 12 18
8 R Scotland 3 7 47 50 13 16
9 R Sweden 3 6 46 53 10 15
10 R Norway 2 7 35 58 11 15
Results and draws
(times are local - for GMT subtract 2 hours)
Sheet A
Sheet B
Sheet C
Sheet D
Sheet E
7  17.00 SWE - NOR
7 - 6
11 - 8
8 - 3
5 - 10
12 - 2
8 9.30 SVK - USA
7 - 9
3 - 8
6 - 2
6 - 4
4 - 8
  15.30 CAN - FIN
8  - 3
6 - 8
1 - 10
6 - 4
6 - 11
9 9.30 RUS - SCO
6 - 3
3 - 6
3 - 11
6 - 4
5 - 7
  15.30 CHN - SVK
8 - 3
2 - 6
3 - 5
7 - 1
9 - 8
10  9.30 SCO - CAN
4 - 6
6 - 4
6 - 7
4 - 3
2 - 6
  15.30 FIN - RUS
3 - 9
3 - 8
9 - 2
5 - 6
7 - 6
11 9.300 NOR - CHN
1 - 5
2 - 4
10 - 1
8 - 4
6 - 7


15.30 USA - GER
5 - 10
6 - 4
8 - 4
8 - 5
6 - 5
15.30 Tie Break   for 7th/8th   GER 6 - 3 SCO
  15.30  1 vs 2   RUS 1 - 3 CHN          3 v 4    FIN 5 - 6 SLV
9.00  Semi-final    RUS 12 - 1  SLV
14.00  Gold      CHN  4 - 7 RUS                  

Bronze    FIN  8 - 5  SLV



Team Canada

4th Ina Forrest
Third Dennis Thiessen
Second Sonja Gaudet
Lead Skip Mark Ideson
Alternate Marie Wright

Coach Joe Rea


  Team China

Skip Wang Haitao
Third Liu Wei
Second Zhang Qiang
Lead Xu Guangquin
Alternate He Jun

Coach  Jianrui Li

Team Finland

Skip  Markku Karjalainen
Third  Sari Karjalainen
 Second  Mina Mojtahedi
Lead  Tuomo Aarnikka
Alternate Vesa Hellman 

Coach Anne Malmi

Lead  Heika Melchior
Third  Christiane Putzich
Skp  Jens Jaeger
Second Martin Schlitt
Alternate  Robert Hering

Coach  Bernd Weisser

Team Norway

Skip Rune Lorentsen
Third Jostein Stordahl
Second Ole Fredrik Syversen
Lead Sissel LÝchen
Alternate Gina Kristin Broendbo

Coach Per Andreasson


Team Russia

Skip Andrey Smirnov
Third Marat Romanov
Second  Oxana Slesarenko
Lead  Alexander Shevchenko
Alternate Svetlana Pakhomova 

Coach Anton Batugin

Team Scotland

Skip Aileen Neilson
Third Gregor Ewan
Second Jim Gault
Lead Angie Malone
Alternate Hugh Nibloe

Coach Tony Zummack


   Team Slovakia

Skip Radoslav Duris 
Third Branislav Jakubec
Second Dusan Pitonak
Lead Monika Kunkelova
Alternate Imrich Lyocsa

Coach  Frantisek Pitonak

Team Sweden

Alternate Zandra Reppe
Skip Jalle Jungnell
Third  Patrik Kallin
Second Ronny Persson
Lead Kicki Ulander

 Coach  Peter Narup



Team USA

Skip Patrick MacDonald
Third Steven Emt
Second Jim Joseph
Lead Penny Greely
Alternate Meghan Lino

Coach Steve Brown

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